A little about Stacy:
Stacy Juba is the author of the mystery novels Twenty-Five Years Ago Today and the upcoming Sink or Swim. She is a former journalist with more than a dozen writing awards to her credit. Her web site is www.stacyjuba.com and her blog is http://stacyjuba.com/blog/.
Obit writer and editorial assistant Kris Langley feels like the newsroom slave – that is, until she stumbles across an unsolved murder while compiling “25 Years Ago Today” items from the microfilm. Determined to launch her reporting career, Kris investigates the cold case of Diana Ferguson, an artistic young cocktail waitress obsessed with Greek and Roman mythology. She soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that yesterday’s headline is tomorrow’s danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kris’s present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life.
I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Kris Langley today! Kris unwittingly stepped into the starring role in Stacy Juba’s book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today. At the time the story began, Kris had no idea her life would be interesting enough to write about. However, a few small choices led her down a path she (and her readers) will never forget.
Kris, welcome and thanks for coming! You decided to make a sudden career switch and wound up as an editorial assistant, while also writing obituaries for a newspaper. Was writing something you’d always wanted to do?
I was always good at writing and it came easily to me, but I wouldn’t say it was something I always wanted to do. To be honest, I never really knew what I wanted to do. It was more, where did I want to go and where could I escape from the stressful thoughts and nightmares that always plagued me. College wasn’t fun for me in the way that it was fun for my roommates. I thought it would be exciting to live in New York after graduation, but my administrative assistant job didn’t fulfill me and all the noise of the city just made me even more unsettled. I fell into journalism after I moved back home and took the newspaper job, and I feel fortunate to have re-discovered writing. I now have an outlet for all those emotions I’ve been suppressing – things I can’t say out loud, I can voice through my writing. And the written word has power. You’ve probably heard the expression “power of the press.” That makes me feel empowered also.
Can you tell us how you went from writing obituaries to investigating a murder?
One of my tasks at the newspaper is compiling the 25 and 50 Years Ago Today column. One day while researching my column, I stumbled across the 25-year-old cold case of Diana Ferguson. I was disturbed to see that the case had been unsolved all these years. I decided to snoop around a bit, and as a result, met Diana’s sister and mother. That made Diana even more real to me, and I felt compelled to do what I could to bring justice for her family.
What was it about Diana Ferguson’s case that tugged at your heartstrings?
I’m no stranger to murder. My cousin Nicole was murdered when we were kids and I’ve always blamed myself for that. Thanks to my childish prank, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Finding Diana’s killer was a way of redeeming myself from my past mistakes. I thought if I could solve Diana’s murder, in some small way, maybe it would make up for what I did to Nicole. I was also intrigued by Diana. She worked as a cocktail waitress in a seedy bar and didn’t have a lot of ambition. Her father’s death had devastated her and it was like part of herself had died with him. But as a hobby, she painted these beautiful, haunting scenes of Greek and Roman mythology. I really wanted to know what Diana’s paintings meant and whether they might provide a clue to the murder.
Now that you’ve fully confronted the trauma of your youth, have you been able to forgive yourself for the part you thought you played in your cousin’s death?
I will always regret what happened with Nicole and I don’t know if all of the guilt can ever be erased. But, now I’m ready to stop being so hard on myself. I can admit that I’m only human and I was just a kid back then. For the first time, I’ve been talking about it with people rather than bottling it all up inside, and there is something freeing in that.
You and Eric Soares had a lot of chemistry, even at the start when you weren’t sure you trusted each other. Might there be an Eric Junior in your future?
Eric and I have a lot of obstacles to overcome, but I’d love to see where that path leads. I’m in no hurry to settle down and have kids, though. For one thing, I just need to have fun. I haven’t had a lot of fun in my life. Also, I’m just starting to find myself. I don’t think I’d be a good mother right now. But someday… yes. I’d like a husband, two kids and a white picket fence. I’m starting to realize that I deserve happiness.
Do you plan to use your investigative skills to hunt down the killers in other unsolved murders?
You never know!
You can purchase Stacy’s book on Amazon by clicking here!
You can also purchase it through her publisher, Mainly Murder Press:
http://mainlymurderpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=33, as well as Barnes and Noble and a variety of other bookstores!